Author Topic: Block in the Back  (Read 3161 times)

Offline Curious

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Block in the Back
« on: September 15, 2010, 02:57:21 PM »
Forgive the length; but it couldn't be helped.

I’m writing this half tongue-in-cheek; but I think it’s an interesting subject worthy of discussion.  In short, this situation involves the (desired) balance between offense and defense and when offensive blocking restrictions no longer apply.

Play: Field goal attempt.  Snap goes over the holder’s head.  Mad chase for the loose ball ensues.  B1 pushes A1 in the back in an actual attempt to get to the ball.  Rule 2-3-5b, supported by Case Book play 9.3.5A, clearly tell us that this is a legal act.

But what if it’s A1 who pushes B1 clearly in the back during this loose ball play?  Blocking restrictions for A – and more liberal “use of hands” for B - are in place to provide a balance between the offense and the defense.  We know A can legally block in the back only in the free blocking zone against an opponent who was in the zone at the snap (Rule 2-17-4)

Now the rub.  Rule 2-3-4c is worded nearly identically to 2-3-5b and suggests to many folks that “all bets are off” for A (other than PF, PI, or Illegal Use of Hands) if A1 “may legally touch or possess the (loose) ball”.  I can find NO Case Book play legitimizing the act for the offense (unlike for the defense).

Questions:

In the interest of “balance”, shouldn’t A be subject to established blocking restrictions (holding, BBW, blocking in the back) even though the ball is loose?  One could argue that A1 could “push/pull/ward off” an opponent without illegally blocking.

If Rule 2-3-5b and 2-3-4c are almost identical, why do the rules editors choose to provide ONLY a Case Book play legitimizing the act for B?

Does the absence of a Case Book play covering A’s right to block in the back during a loose ball tacitly approve/disapprove (of) it?  Rule 2-37 – defining a “rule” - is interesting.

Case Book Play 9.2.1h tells us (ineligible) A players may “block an opponent to keep him from getting to a tipped/muffed pass” (loose ball).  Does this mean it’s okay for A to block in the back during that moment?

Can K or R block in the back during a free kick (in their attempt to get to the loose ball) – since both “may legally touch or possess the ball”?

ppaltice

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 03:53:21 PM »
The case you are referring, 9.3.5A references both 2-3-4c and 2-3-5b.  They also reference 9-3-5b by default of the case number.  Rule 2 is definitions and Rule 9 covers fouls.  By 9-3-5b any player (no distinction between offense and defense) can clip or BiB in an attempt to get to a loose ball they can legally touch.

And yes, K can clip or BiB on a kick to get to a loose ball they can legally touch (10 yds plus grounded or touched by R).  Again, from 9-3-5b.

Offline Curious

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 04:32:17 PM »
The case you are referring, 9.3.5A references both 2-3-4c and 2-3-5b.  They also reference 9-3-5b by default of the case number.  Rule 2 is definitions and Rule 9 covers fouls.  By 9-3-5b any player (no distinction between offense and defense) can clip or BiB in an attempt to get to a loose ball they can legally touch.

And yes, K can clip or BiB on a kick to get to a loose ball they can legally touch (10 yds plus grounded or touched by R).  Again, from 9-3-5b.

Thanks; I completely missed the double rule reference in the Case Book covering both offense and defense - even though an A blocker is never referenced in the play.

For clarification, are you using "clip" and "BiB" synonymously (i.e., above the waist)?  Surely you're not suggesting any player can clip below the waist. 9-3-5b does specify "above the waist"...player safety!

Also, do others agree with PP about kicks?

LarryW60

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 08:10:54 AM »
The presence or absence of a casebook play specifically addressing a particular rule does not imply anything other than a situation referencing that specific rule hasn't been brought to the Fed's attention and deemed important enough to make a case for.  A lack of a case in the casebook does not mean the rule is invalid. To the contrary, it usually means the rule is very well written and needs no further explanation.

During a loose ball A has the same rights to push or pull opponents as B does because during a loose ball, there is NO team on offense.  Until the ball has been recovered again, the team on offense and the team on defense has not been determined.  Note that I'm not talking about possession.  During the loose ball, possession remains with the last team in possession.

Offline Curious

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 08:58:55 AM »
The presence or absence of a casebook play specifically addressing a particular rule does not imply anything other than a situation referencing that specific rule hasn't been brought to the Fed's attention and deemed important enough to make a case for.  A lack of a case in the casebook does not mean the rule is invalid. To the contrary, it usually means the rule is very well written and needs no further explanation.

During a loose ball A has the same rights to push or pull opponents as B does because during a loose ball, there is NO team on offense.  Until the ball has been recovered again, the team on offense and the team on defense has not been determined.  Note that I'm not talking about possession.  During the loose ball, possession remains with the last team in possession.
Paragraph 1: That's why I mentioned Rule 2-37.

Paragraph 2: I must respectfully disagree with your statement that there is no team on offense when the ball is loose.  Rule 2-43-4 states; "Team designations are retained until the ball is next marked ready for play".  Rules 2-3-4c and 2-3-5b refer to "offensive " and "defensive" players respectively - including when the ball is loose.  There is more ambiguity in free kick situations I'll admit.

With that said, I'd like to read more discussion regarding my first question: whether the offense should be held to established blocking restrictions during the entire down (even if the ball is loose).

ppaltice

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 03:19:13 PM »
Couple things.

1.  Offense refers to the team in possession of the ball (not the team with a player in possession of the ball).  At any instance during the down, one team have team possession of the ball and will be the offense.  Their opponent will be defense.  Team A will remain Team A through out the down.

2.  Blocking below the waist is only from the front or side.  A clip is a block in the back below the waist.  If a player can legally block in the back, they can also legally clip.  Again, this is Rule 9-3-5.  See Rule 2-3-7 and 9-3-2 for clarification on blocking below the waist.

3.  Offense and defense have identical restrictions or exceptions when the ball is loose if the offense can legally touch the ball.  Only a few times does the offense have restrictions: on kicks (beyond ENZ on scrimmage kicks and in the NZ on free kicks, or when touching would be KCI) and for ineligibles on certain forward pass plays (can't think of any others).

Offline jason

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Re: Block in the Back
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 04:21:22 PM »
Couple things.

1.  Offense refers to the team in possession of the ball (not the team with a player in possession of the ball).  At any instance during the down, one team have team possession of the ball and will be the offense.  Their opponent will be defense.  Team A will remain Team A through out the down.

2.  Blocking below the waist is only from the front or side.  A clip is a block in the back below the waist.  If a player can legally block in the back, they can also legally clip.  Again, this is Rule 9-3-5.  See Rule 2-3-7 and 9-3-2 for clarification on blocking below the waist.

3.  Offense and defense have identical restrictions or exceptions when the ball is loose if the offense can legally touch the ball.  Only a few times does the offense have restrictions: on kicks (beyond ENZ on scrimmage kicks and in the NZ on free kicks, or when touching would be KCI) and for ineligibles on certain forward pass plays (can't think of any others).

I completely agree with all of the above, but does anyone else find it completely bizarre that...

1) 9-3-2 doesn't allow a block below the waist in this situation
2) 9-3-5 allows a clip in this situation

I'd argue a clip is much more dangerous than a block below the waist.